Pennsylvania College of Technology's string of consecutive second-place national archery finishes was snapped at three last weekend, but coach Brian Parker was happy with the outcome nonetheless.
"I'm ecstatic. I think we did very well. We ran into some tough matches right off the bat but overall we did very well," the second-year coach said about his team's results at the U.S. Intercollegiate Archery Championships in Cedar City, Utah, that wrapped up last Sunday.
The reason for Parker's joy is obvious:
One individual national champion - Kendel Baier, of Jersey Shore, in female bowhunter;
Texas A&M won the team title and James Madison University finished second.
"I'm really pleased and very happy for Kendel. She swept everything; there's nothing that she didn't win," the coach said. "She knew she could do it. She's been practicing hard, she kept a level head and she shot her matches.
"At this level, if you make a mistake, your opponent is going to take advantage," Parker added. "She capitalized on mistakes that her opponents made and moved ahead.
"It's fabulous that we had six All-Americans (based on the archers' results from both the indoor and outdoor nationals). They shot well indoors, they shot well outdoors to achieve (the status). They are a special group," the coach continued.
Penn College also had seven Academic All-Americans in Baier, Dewalt, Dowdrick, Lapinski, Boyer, Matt Cummings, of Mountville, and Jordan McGowan, of Carlisle.
And, five Wildcat archers received Best New Archer awards - Easley; Markus Weber, of La Plata, Md.; Katie Reitbauer, of Shillington; Samantha Lantz, of Ulster; and Maxwell Trainor, of Hawley. The award is given to new archers who place in the top three in each discipline.
Individually, Boyer finished second in women's compound, Dowdrick was third in male bowhunter, Dewalt was fourth in male bowhunter, Lapinski was fourth in women's compound, Leimbach was eighth in male compound and Greggory Foust, of Murrysville, was eighth in male recurve.
In team competition, Boyer, Lapinski and Ashley Baker, of Coudersport, placed second in the female compound discipline.
Boyer, Dowdrick, Lantz and Tim Unverdorben, of Pine Grove, are leaving the team, creating gaps that will need to be filled.
Parker, who was assisted this season by Tom Lapinski, said Boyer is a good example of how a student with no previous archery experience, over the course of two years improved to the point she finished second in the country.